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Bucs get first win

TAMPA — Donald Penn made his 101st start at left tackle, Monday night against the Dolphins. But for one play on the opening drive, the 6-foot-5, 340-pounder lined up at tight end, sneaked off the line of scrimmage and hauled in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon.

Penn then took off toward the goal post, leaped toward the crossbar and did a finger roll.

A touchdown pass to a tackle, a reverse on a punt return, a safety by linebacker Lavonte David, a relatively new running back, Bobby Rainey, making, arguably, the biggest play of the game.

The Bucs put the fun in dysfunction Monday.

They also got their first W.

Playing against a distracted Dolphins team embroiled in their own off-field scandal, the Bucs blew a 15-point lead but rallied and held on for a 22-19 win at Raymond James Stadium before an announced crowd of 64,448 and a national television audience.

Rainey scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run with 10:19 remaining, and the Bucs defense finally made it stand up, sacking Ryan Tannehill twice before cornerback Darrelle Revis intercepted a fourth-and-27 desperation pass intended for Mike Wallace to seal it.

Tampa Bay (1-8) held Miami to a Bucs team-record 2 yards rushing on 14 carries.

"A win cures everything," Revis said.

"We'd been 0-8 and struggling getting wins this year. But it's good to get this first win, especially at home. The fans were into it. It was Veterans Day. It was an emotional game for us, and we knew what type of game it was going to be on Monday night as well. It's great for the fans, and it's going to give us confidence week in and week out."

The Bucs had lost four games by a field goal or less, two in the final seconds and one in overtime. But as they gathered on the sideline during the two-minute warning with the Dolphins needing only a field goal to send the game into overtime, David took over the lecture from coach Greg Schiano.

"Let's finish this," David said emphatically.

On first down, Tannehill was sacked by end Da'Quan Bowers, and end William Gholston and tackle Gerald McCoy dumped Tannehill for a 10-yard sack on second down.

"It had that same feel going down the back stretch," Schiano said. "But our guys bowed up and made some plays in the clutch to win the game.

"That's something much needed. It's something we'll build on moving forward."

Tampa Bay built a 15-0 lead, controlling the tempo with a strong running game and a stingy defense.

Rookie Mike James, who rushed for 158 yards in last week's 27-24 overtime loss at Seattle, started fast again with four carries for 38 yards.

But on his fifth carry, a second and goal, he fell after gaining 3 yards and was carted off the field with a season-ending broken right ankle.

With Doug Martin going on injured reserve last week with a shoulder injury, that left Rainey and Brian Leonard as the only active tailbacks. Together with James, they combined for 140 yards rushing.

For the first time this season, the Bucs faced a team mired in more off-field distractions than them.

On Oct. 28, starting left tackle Jonathan Martin left the Dolphins over alleged bullying by starting left guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended by the team.

Much like it has all season, the Bucs offense disappeared to start the third quarter. The Bucs entered averaging 4.5 points in the second half.

A pair of holding penalties and a shanked 21-yard punt by Michael Koenen set the Dolphins up at the Tampa Bay 41.

And Tannehill found Rishard Matthews in the left flat, and he turned the corner for a 19-yard touchdown.

Revis tipped away the two-point conversion pass, but the Dolphins led 16-15 with 2:01 remaining in the third quarter.

An interception by safety Jimmy Wilson led to former Gator Caleb Sturgis' second field goal, this time from 31 yards. The interception broke a streak of 158 pass attempts without one by Glennon, a club rookie record.

But Glennon engineered an 80-yard drive in nine plays, completing a pass for a first down to Tiquan Underwood before Rainey's touchdown.

When the Bucs failed to run out the clock, the Dolphins had one more chance, when they took over at their 5 with 3:00 to play. Tannehill completed two passes for first downs to the Miami 33. But during the two-minute warning, David put the hammer down.

"This is not going to happen," David said, according to Schiano. "Right here, right now, we're going to get this."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-AM 620.

Bucs get first win 11/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:51am]
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